Hello IF Community,
I would like to start off, by giving a Big Thank You to the IF development team and support staff. I’ve been flying the simulator for a number of years now and it has come such a long way! From the introduction of Global to the recent updates to the 737 and A10. Its a real treat to fly this simulator, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for 2019.
Recently I’ve been flying the TBM930, because flying VFR in a tropical region of the simulator is an awesome experience making the 930 one of my go to aircraft. The quality and detail that has gone into this aircraft is phenomenal! But, when I switch over to the 172 or 208 - I quickly wish the quality and detail that went into the 930 were available in the small number of GA aircraft available in the simulator. In addition to that, for some time now I’ve considered becoming a real world pilot by getting my private pilot certification. 2019, is my year to do just that. But, I’ve always had in the back of my mind this thought - ‘wouldn’t it be cool if this simulator could contribute to someones effort toward getting their pilot certification’.
The simulator is heavily focused on the larger aircraft that you see in commercial or military service that can be flown by anyone who has an iPhone. I understand that the larger aircraft is a major selling point for the simulator, and I enjoy flying Boeing and Airbus like anyone else. But a student pilot or someone interested in becoming a pilot can’t walk up to a 737 or an A320, hop in and take off - at least not before the USAF shows up to ‘land’ the plane for you. With that, I’m willing to bet that there would be a sizable amount of simulator pilots who would love to see the GA fleet increased or reworked in order to translate some of the experience gained in the simulator to real world flying.
Perhaps in 2019 or into 2020, the IF team can start to look at developing the GA side of the simulator to help someone gain practical experience that could be used towards getting a private pilot certification or an add-on rating. Here are some specific ideas the IF team could consider to improve GA in the simulator for such a venture:
- Rework of the current Cessna fleet - or the common aircraft (172) flown by most student pilots.
- Add a few multi-engine turboprop’s like the BeechCraft King Air or the Cessna SkyCourier to the fleet to support Instrument, Commercial, or multi-engine ratings.
- Incorporate real world pilot training programs like Cessna’s Flight Training into the simulator.
- Or maybe partner with a well known flight training program or school and offer a service that can work in conjunction with ground training program towards FAA certification.
- I’m not quite sure if this would be doable - but hours gained in IF could count as logged hours for FAA purposes.
That last one might be a stretch - but I have a few airports around me where I can rent an FAA approved simulator and log hours. Maybe IF could do something similar. This simulator has the potential to become something more by inspiring a new generation of people to consider becoming pilot’s by offering a robust fleet of GA aircraft that could be used towards real world flying. Granted, nothing will replace flying a real airplane when someone is seeking their certification or going for a rating - nothing I’m suggest would substitute for that. But if another way existed to get to that end faster or more efficiently through an app like IF. For someone like me who wants to become a real pilot, I would be more then happy to pay a higher subscription fee or pay extra for such a service or add on feature if it meant saving time and money overall towards getting my certification.
Thank you in advance for any consideration given, I hope to start a good conversation on this subject and perhaps gain support from the IF community to make improvements for GA happen in the simulator.
Happy New Year!